First Gig

So I’ve just finished my first official post-Vessel job bartending for a private party tonight, and I’ve got to say that it would’ve been a blast except for one minor detail, which I’ll get into in just a minute.

First, I want to give a shout out to Murray at Zig Zag for thinking of me when one of his regulars asked him if he knew of any bartenders available for a Saturday night gig. He gave them my number and I received my first payday of quite some time. All would’ve been dandy except for that one minor detail that I’d mentioned earlier.

If I was a betting man (which occasionally I am) I’d say that my good “pal” Murray set me up, because as soon as people started arriving, they were telling me how excited they were to have the second best bartender in the city mixing drinks for them. Time and time again. Without fail. As if by script. I’ll let you guess who the best bartender was (it rhymes with “Blurry”).

As the night wore on, and people were starting to feel the effects of my prescriptions, I even had one nice gal tell me to not feel too bad about being number two as this means that there is no pressure on me, as there would be if I were the best bartender in the city.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll defer to that old coot Murray any day in the bartending arena, but come on! I was last year’s Seattle Magazine Bartender of the Year. I was in Time magazine last week as well as last month’s Details, this month’s Food & Wine and next month’s Esquire. Murray had Playboy last year, but this year it was my turn! I don’t need people to feel sorry for me god dammit! Just because I have no reliable source of income and live in the shadow of a Seattle legend it doesn’t mean that I need back-handed pitiful compliments of “don’t worry, your day will come.” I was just there to mix a couple of drinks in a person’s house, not to get the ego equivalent of a kick in the balls while someone pissed on my head!

Anyway, thanks for the gig Murray, but next time can you please not instruct everyone to remind me that you have a sixty year head start on me. My bruised ego won’t be able to take it even though my wallet will instruct me to grin and bear it.

UPDATED: It has come to light by some people that I may have a grudge with Murray. This is of course not true, I’m just having a little fun, and have no problem playing second fiddle to him. He’s earned it and it’s well deserved.

UPDATED AGAIN: Apparently, people are having troubles reading in between the lines. Murray and I are good friends, and occasionally bust each others balls and play practical jokes on each other. I’ll let you figure out the rest (and please be sure to heed this update the next time you see or hear me busting Murray’s balls).

Next up, (finally), will be my blog about my New York and Kentucky trip.

Oh and while I’m typing, here is the drink that I’d created for the party, which had a fire theme.

1 oz gin
Β½ oz St. Germain elderflower
Β½ oz lemon juice
ΒΌ oz green Chartreuse

place green Chartreuse in a cocktail glass
place remaining ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake
light Chartreuse on fire with a Chartreuse mister and flame
extinguish with the remaining ingredients (use a strainer)

Drink and picture by:
Jamie Boudreau


~ by Jamie Boudreau on May 4, 2008.

21 Responses to “First Gig”

  1. Looks really good Jamie, I’ll have to try it…

    What happened at Vessel, did you just have enough or did they close down?

    Anyway hang in there, you’re the #1 Bartender in Seattle as far as I’m concerned, Vessel 75 rocks out

    Murray who?


  2. I feel with you old sport.

    I felt like that, as my “keishi” won against me in a competition [not that I think that he is better than me]…

    Realize your dreams – open a bar without boundaries!

  3. Excellent new cocktail! This is only the second cocktail I’ve tried that includes St. Germain effectively without it dominating the profile. The Chartreuse acts as a wonderful, peppery foil to the potential cloy of the Germain. I skipped the fire bit, being sans mister at the moment.

  4. Dominic Venegas did an almost identical drink (sans the flame) when St. Germain launched last year called The Gypsy. I categorize it as a riff on the Last Word.

  5. nw:
    You hit it bang on. I was originally going to do a flamed Last Word, but when my liquor store didn’t have enough maraschino, I just used the St. Germain instead, lowering the proportion so it wouldn’t over power the drink.

  6. I do love Murray. I think a little competition in town is good for the biz though, no?

  7. A) I really look forward to your next gig, and I truly hope that it’s here in Seattle. SOMEONE!!! Find Jamie some $!!!
    B) That is a nice drink to be sure, and I have one called the Continental that is a great foil for the St. Germain:

    1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin
    1/4 oz. St. Germain
    1/4 oz. Amaro Nonino
    (garnish with long lemon twist)

    Again – Jamie – I wish you the best.

  8. Come to Boston.

  9. Come to Chicago.

  10. Come to Revere!

  11. Hm, that’s got a lot of my favorite parts in it. It’s like our Le Bourget ( but with chartreuse, too. Wow.

    And you know how I feel about you vs. Murray. I always said there’d never be another Seattle bar for me as long as Mr. Stenson was behind the mahogany, but was forced to amend that statement after my first visit to Vessel. I hope you find another place to hang your shingle that’s as visually fabulous. There’s room in Seattle for two bests. πŸ™‚

  12. *sighs* That’s just amazing…

  13. I’ve been ordering a low-end version of your “revolver” in bars around Houston alot. I’ve always given you credit for the fine drink and told everyone to look you up at Vessel. Sigh.

  14. Come to… Southern Arizona. πŸ™‚

    There is a serious dearth of good bars/tenders down here. It blows.

    No LBC, though. πŸ™‚

  15. remember, being #2 means you’re the shit. πŸ˜‰

  16. […] already, or if you’re enamored with the original version, follow the example set by the second-best bartender in Seattle and chime in down in the comments section (but go ahead and vote anyway). SHARETHIS.addEntry({ […]

  17. sympathy for a spirited craftsman temporarily out of work!
    your drinks are quite a sensation with my crowd here in copenhagen, and i cant find a fitting superlative for your blog, except possibly WOW, only that isnt one, is it?
    anyway, a slightly off the subject question:
    do you have experience with particular kinds of glassware breaking – ie wine glasses – when you set fire to alcohol inside?

  18. a great prankster, that murray. taking the silver ain’t so bad. take it from the 35th best bartender in Seattle.

  19. niels:
    The heat produced from burning alcohol is quite minimal. A glass will get hotter from boiling water than a little burning alcohol, so, no, I have never had a glass break (and I use crystal).

  20. I finally tried this (sans flambe) and it is good. Not quite a Last Word but damn fine on its own merits. Well done. πŸ™‚

  21. […] First Gig Π’Β« May 4, 2008 … I was last year's Seattle Magazine Bartender of the Year. I was in Time magazine last week as well … […]

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